A CYCLE fitness instructor today warned that thieves were increasingly targeting expensive bikes after his £3000 model was stolen during a raid on his home.
Hugh McInnes was asleep when thieves broke into his Newhaven flat and made off with the customised bike he used for triathlon races.
The 36-year-old said that bike theft in the Capital was a “massive problem” as cycling continues to rise in popularity.
A total of 1268 bike thefts were reported to police in Edinburgh between April and December last year, a slight fall on the same period a year before. Gangs are believed to be responsible for many of the thefts.
Mr McInnes said that with enthusiasts now more willing to spend up to £3000 on their bikes, criminals are cashing in on the boom.
Mr McInnes, co-owner of the LifesCycle studio in Newhaven Road, which offers cycling fitness classes, had his 36-gear Isaac hardtail bike stolen.
He said: “I’ve had a number of conversations with police about bike thefts and it’s a massive problem. Cycling in Edinburgh is growing in popularity all the time, and people are often spending £2000 to £3000 on a bike.
“But that can make them difficult for thieves to sell on. My own bike is very unique and I think it’s more likely to be broken up and sold as different parts. Either that or it will be sold in a pub for £100.
“I’ve spoken to bike shop owners in the city to ask them to keep an eye out, and I’m checking Gumtree and eBay as they’re often sold online.”
Mr McInnes was at home with girlfriend Joanne Thom, 33, a fitness instructor, when the thieves struck at their Newhaven Road flat at about 4.30am last Monday.
He said: “It was the night of the really bad storm and the wind outside was very noisy. We heard a noise in the flat but put it down to the weather.
“There’s a small porch area before the door to our living room and that’s where I kept the bike.
“It’s fortunate because the inside door was open and the thief could have come in and stolen laptops, phones, but they obviously saw the bike and went for that.”
The bike is described as black, with an 18-inch frame, DT Swiss 240 silver-rimmed wheels, white forks, Continental mud tyres, Shimano XTR break discs, Bon Trager carbon stem and a triple Physic Gobbie saddle.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Given the time at which this incident occurred, a number of residents in Newhaven Road may have been awoken by sounds of a disturbance.”